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Shetland Otter photography Workshop





Dates ; October 31st - 6th November 2015   Full

              13th February - 18th February 2016 1 Space

               21st October - 26th October  2016  2 Spaces 


Species specific assignment focusing on Otters
Exclusivity of only three photographers
Expertise & local knowledge of renowned otter guide
Five nights all inclusive accommodation

Wild Otters are undoubtedly one of the most sought after, challenging and ultimately rewarding subjects for wildlife photographers in Europe. They are captivating animals which are full of character. Few creatures encapsulate both the ‘aw’ and the ‘wow’ factors like Otters do; from their stealthy hunting and predatory abilities to the intimate, adorable and playful antics of a mother and her cubs. They are captivating animals which are full of character and are highly evolved to exploit both the underwater and terrestrial environments. They are shy, but with knowledge of how they live, what signs to look for and how to approach them, they can be observed in their natural environment and their behaviour can be studied.
Although the status of Otters in Britain has changed considerably over recent years, with the unrivalled combination of the highest densities and the easily accessible remote open shorelines they inhabit, Shetland is still the best place in Britain to see, study and photograph these marvellously evocative mammals.
The Workshop
This species specific assignment focuses solely on Shetlands Otters and offers photographers the unique opportunity to capture an exciting portfolio of images portraying their behaviour and their environment with renowned otter guide Brydon Thomason, who's experience and reputation amongst photographers is unrivalled when it comes to photographing these captivating and challenging mammals.
We will be covering the following;
Otter field skills; finding and reading the signs
How to read and interpret otter behaviour
Hone and improve field craft, essential when working with such shy animals
How to use the elements to maximise opportunities

The workshop will run for five days and consist of approximately six to eight hours in the field each day. We generally find three hours either side of low tide to be the optimum time to maximise opportunities when otters are often at their most active. In the evenings we will delve further into the lives of otters with informal talks and presentations covering;
The coastlines they inhabit; what is important for an otter?
Otter ecology and behaviour
Family life; trials and tribulations for a mother and her cubs
Using Bushnell camera traps to track otters.

This is a unique and often can be an emotive experience to study, learn about and photograph Otters in Shetland. Otters seem to have an acute nervousness- their elusive behavior is renowned. For this reason stringent consideration must be given to the following factors to maximize chances of encounters (and the quality of them) but most importantly to avoid disturbance to Otters such as; state of tide, knowing an active site, wind direction, planning your approach, maintaining a minimum profile and so on.
The geography and terrain must also be considered so as to suit a client’s ability. A reasonable level of fitness is essential as reaching some of the best locations and especially getting into the best photographic position will often mean clambering over uneven terrain and shorelines.
The Itinerary
Day 1: Pick-ups and transfer to accommodation, the Shetland Nature Lodge. Afternoon/evening talk: Introduction to Shetland and its otters.
Days 2, 3, 4, 5: Gauge wind direction at first light and how it will affect intended sites to be used- out early morning in field working our regular shorelines and looking for Otters. Afternoon/evening talks.
Day6:Transfer to airport for departures.

Cost: £1,595 Deposit £200
Included in price; all meals and accommodation, guiding, transport, ferry fares, and transfers to and from arrival/departure.
Not included; travel to/from Shetland, items of a personal nature, alcoholic beverages.